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Similar Fertilizer Plants In Indiana

Last updated on Friday, April 19, 2013

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana has plants similar to the one that exploded in West, Texas.

Dawn Clapperton of WISH TV8 reports that there are 300 similar retail facilities that store and sell fertilizer to Indiana's farmers, according to Matt Pearson, the Fertilizer Administrator with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist.

And there are another 100 storage tanks located on Indiana farms.

State law requires tanks be 400 feet from any home, 1,000 feet from any school and 2,000 feet from any hospital or nursing home.

24-Hour News 8 spoke to Debbie Crow with The Andersons, which runs multiple facilities in Indiana. She said that all tanks are fenced in and have motion detectors and other security measurers. She says they regularly train employees in safety procedures and regularly work with area emergency responders.

"I have to say that the events that occurred in Texas today and yesterday give us pause and we'll take an even closer look to confirm that we have the proper safety measures in place to ensure the safety of our employees and the community at large."

The most common chemical used in fertilizer is ammonium nitrate, best known as the explosive used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

More than a dozen other explosions have happened over the last 100 years, rare occurrences but they happen.

In fact, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board heading up this investigation has never investigated a fertilizer plant explosion.

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